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Yep, that’s right, I’m on a three week vacation, commence the hen dance of glory!

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What does this mean for y’all? Well this is going to be an actual vacation-vacation so that means no tablet, no internet, no nothing. Gooooootta unplug. I have never taken a full vacation that also included a vacation from Black Witch, ha! So, it’s an actual “not gonna do anything” vacation. That means:

– No new posts for the month of July

– No responses to emails or messages until Aug 1 or the very, very end of July

I may just recycle old posts from Early BW days…or just leave this post here so everyone knows what’s going on. Ehhhhh, I’m probably going to do that.

Until then…here’s some Static Shock fan made short films! Huzzah.

“Static Shock: Blackout” by Stefani Dezil

“Static Shock: Phenomenon” by yvzproductions

“Electrogenesis” by HsingHProductions (Static Shock when he’s older and not exactly Static)

Huzzah!

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I’ve been ridiculously busy so no actual article for this prev week but I do have news. The book The Sisters are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative on Black Women is coming out. It is an academic book written by Tami Winfrey Harris about the intersections of experiences of Black women, stereotypes and society. I had a chance to participate with this book as one of the interviewed guests. Now that the book is nearly out (you can purchase it on Amazon here, and it will be released July 7th but it is in stores now), it’s promotion time!

On July 7th, Tuesday, at 9PM EST there will be a one hour discussion under the hashtag #TheSistersAreAlright on Twitter. I’ll be participating under my usual @thisblackwitch handle, make sure you check it out!

Here is this month’s Ask Black Witch, let’s get into it. Actually, before we do, thank you everyone who managed to donate. My mom is back inside her home and we’re resolving her rent situation so to avoid this for the future.

Hi [Black Witch]!

My name is Vermail, and my question is more like a comment rather than a question. I really hope that my proclamation is more of a breath of fresh air rather than a gasp of overwhelmingly strange questions and requests for you. I am from Chicago, but emigrated to northwest Indiana. You see, I am a natural “brown” witch. I am African-American, I am just getting away from the term of “Black” to be described. Yes being called “Black” is a heck of a lot better than being called all the other demeaning terms we have been called over time, I just feel that we should be called who we are. Which is American plain and simple. Since my skin is brown, I just prefer the term “brown” to describe me. Because you see, even the “Blackest” person is brown. But I embrace my “blackness” spells and all! Anyhoo, ever since I was little, I’ve felt special. I’ve heard this voice inside my head telling me that there is something different about me. I didn’t fit in with any of the other brown girls growing up, my tastes were different. As a child, I could rationalize and analyze as an adult. I always had this feeling that I was wise among my years, but I just chalked it up to a gifted mind, no big deal. But as I grew older I noticed that situations and events would wind up in my favor. Even though I came from an extremely poor family, I was blessed with the things that I needed. It wasn’t until I hit my older 20s that I could hear voices. But not just any voices, it was the dead, people in my life that crossed over. I thought I was going crazy! I figured my college antics were finally catching up with me. I did struggle with depression growing up as a result of a hard childhood. We have alot in common. Hopefully we can have a shared dialog sometime. Well, it wasn’t until 2011 when I began to notice energies in the enviornment. I would feel a tightness in my chest along with a strange voice in my head telling me small phrases. Like one liners. Seems like it takes alot of energy for the crossed over to communicate with the living. As I type this it still seems strange to me.  There is so much I want to type, but this is all still new to me. So lets fast-forward to 2013. I was 32 yrs old and this was the time that I could really feel my craft blossom. I realized that I could use intention to help things in my life go better. I felt charmed and blessed. I’ve always been a positive person and I felt like that helped. That saying the glass is always half-full has always helped me. As long as I stayed positive, positive things happened. Even in bad situations. I mean I’ve had my share of hard times, but I’ve beem blessed to get through it. Fast forwarding to 2014, I was accepted into nursing school. Needless to say its been the most difficult endeavor I’ve ever done. During a stressful time during finals, I dreamed about crystals. It was like they were calling me. I checked out this website called WitchVox and found the nearest Witch shop. I met this really nice Caucasian lady named Renee who helped me answer alot of questions about magick. I kinda came prepared for the stones to pick me, and she was intrigued. Especially since I was the only Black girl to come in with a plan. The only other girl that was brown came in, looked around and left right back out. Renee told me she had the shop protected and only people with specific intentions stayed. We talked for a while, I picked my stones and left. I was excited that I finally found someone to relate to. But the problem was that every blog site and every opinion was by a white person. I’m not a racist person (heck, theres white in my blood) but I couldn’t find a brown girl to relate to. Someone who shared the same struggles as I did. So earlier this year I took a chance and googled “Black Witch”. I was scared I’d find all kind of links to devil worshippers, black magick and Satan followers. But alas, you were the 1st link on the list! I was so happy to find a Brown Witch who knows the craft better than I.  Not that I ever considered myself a specialist. But people ask some really crazy crap.  So I hide my talent, only my husband, mom, a trusted friend and mom-in-law knows. I just dont like being in the magick spotlight. Well to make an incredibly long story short, I am so glad I found you, and congrats for blogging about your craft for over 5 years. I hope that one day I can be as brave as you to put myself out there to help other know that being magickal is not being crazy. Hoorah and thank you. I’m sure well talk more soon!

– Vermail

To start with, everyone: I rather folks just call me Black Witch on here. Mainly for the same reason people don’t call Deadmau5 “Joel” or Jay-Z “Shawn”, even though that is their real first names. Also, everyone, I don’t like being distanced from Blackness, directly or indirectly. I’m not Brown (except in skin hue), I’m Black, plain and simple. And so is the person writing in, they’re Black. It’s internalized anti-Blackness exercised. I’m not mixed, I’m not brown, I’m not non-identified PoC, I’m Black. I don’t have a problem with being Black, it’s best others don’t either because whether any of them knows it or not, it’s anti-Blackness when you’re trying to distance yourself from it, especially for no good reason. And usually it’s Black folks writing in who are the bigger offenders.

Also, I’m Black American. Not simply American. Because America didn’t really find my Blackness very American (despite building the super-power nation) for a very long time, well after July 4, 1776. And still has problems noticing that I am also American and not simply because I pay my taxes to a country that craps a brick over anything that attempts to reflect my visage. And still gotta have a major debate on the freaking rebel flag/Confederate flag. I’m a Marylander and I know that’s a crock of bullsh*t. So, yeah, I’m American, but I’m not going to ignore my American history because being Black in America is a much different experience than being what is usually thought of when folks say “American”, which is a White American. Being colorblind is just White-washing on the sneak. If it was an international person writing in, “American” is just fine because I don’t expect folks overseas to full understand the race debacle here and when dealing with different nations, it’s ok to be identified by nationality (plus it helps to remind the world America fibs when they paint Americans as all White in nearly all overseas depictions) but with folks in the same nation as me? I’m “Black American” because… dislike of hereditary erasure.

This is a lot to read for everyone (as well as the second email sent) and I didn’t bother to break things up into paragraphs, so the TL;DR: “How do I manage dealing with spirits and getting better with my practice?” The best book for intermediate practice would possibly best be Intution Magick by Linda Keen and The Magickal Life by Vivianne Crowley (not related to Aleister Crowley, I believe). That and with any energy manipulation, learn meditation with a focus on energy manipulation. If new to meditation, the best app I would recommend is Intellicare’s Purple Chill, which has deep breathing, visualization and other exercises that are immensely effective and well taught.

Hey my question is about speaking with your inner self/selves. I’ve been looking for a while now to try and find a way to see into my inner most parts or at least be able to speak to myself. Do you know of a way to do that? Is it unwise to try? Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this

– Brandon C.

I was a bit confused at first because since I did post “Too Many Minds to Mind” recently, so I asked for clarification.

Is this a question for metaphysics or dissociative disorder? You will have to clairify.

Metaphysics possibly the ladder maybe you can discern: I can’t align my spirit. I can’t agree on one thing and I can’t feel at peace with decisions. One of the other (Inner or outer self) feels like it’s rebelling. That or it’s wounded. I wanted to know if there was a way I could commune or self search safely. Or a way to see inside?

Sounds like a potential dissociative thing but I’m not a therapist and notice I said “potential”, not “actual”. That and I just couldn’t let the “latter/ladder” thing slide, ah alors.

You mean ‘latter’, I think. The main part of any dissociative disorder is amnesia. If you can’t recall whole swaths of memory, that could be dissociative but it is best to get a screening because of how dissociative works. That is also not exactly the same with feeling at odd with your inner and outer self. If you still think it is dissociative, talk to a counselor to get a screening or look at the links I had on my post about Dissociative to best discern what it actually could be.

Apparently, that wasn’t what the dude wanted to hear.

Pretty sure it’s not. And I’m not trying to ask you to do something for me except tell me a simple way to see inside of myself. I appreciate you trying to help in a non witch way. And I don’t know weather you’re saying you can’t or won’t but I really just needed the tip on how to: commune again, safely with one’s self. And If anything what I’m exhibiting could be BPD1 or schizophrenia But again thanks for taking time out of your day to help me. 

I think when people write to a witch, they’re forever expecting spells or something that remotely seems “magickal” but A) if it’s a regular problem, you’re going to get a regular solution B) This is why I asked if it is a metaphysics question or a dissociative question and he said it was a dissociative question, which is the latter option. Going at a psychological illness with metaphysics just simply is a bad idea, hence why I suggested the dude get a screening if that’s what he thought he had so he could get a definite answer from a professional source and be able to successfully move forward. It’s a “non-witch” solution but the best one to suggest for anyone who thinks they have any psychological issues. If the dude said it was the former, a metaphysics question, then I would have said something entirely different since there are many schools of thought in metaphysics of alternate selves because they don’t come from trauma. Basically, I gave a solution: If you think you have alternate personalities/selves, get a screening to make sure. And I try to clarify this.

That’s why I suggested a counselor (or therapist), they can best help because if it something like an alternate personality, they’re there for a reason, thus not easy to commune with because they stem from trauma.

Hey, I have a therapist. I’m not trying to low key call the dude crazy for thinking he has an inner and outer self, I’m simply trying to suggest the best option for him if he thinks it is a disorder. Because that’s what he said the question was about. What did he expect? That I would give a meditation or something so you can get in touch with a side of you that was formed from trauma? You’ll unlock memories and experiences but if you’re not ready to deal with the deluge of whatever comes out of Pandora’s Box, it would be a bad – even dangerous – idea. Part of this is speaking from experience. If the dude wanted to ask a metaphysics version, he should have.

Mkay girl. Stay blessed 

O_o I’m turning 28 next week as of this post. When friends say “girl”, that’s fine. However, from strangers, it’s odd, especially guys. Basically: I’m nearly 30, I dislike the term “girl” in this context.

Not a girl, dude, I’m nearly 30.

Oh this isn’t the same black with from Afro-punk? I feel bamboozled

Firstly, there’s a Malcom X joke that can come from here somewhere. Annnnnn while I was writing on Afro-Punk when I was 23…five years have passed. I got older. Still wasn’t a girl then but still, c’mon.

I am, that’s where Black Witch started

Pretty simple, yeah?

That was a woman are you telling me now that this is admin based?

That makes next to no sense. But I tried.

Nope, Black Witch is still ran and maintained by one person. I simply don’t take kindly to being called a “girl” since I’m not one.

And out comes the deluge of emo:

Okay, gurl you’re like the least helpful witch I’ve happened upon. Girl wasn’t meant to type fast you is girl as in hey girl bye girl okay girl. I usually spell it with a u. Now that’s the second time you’ve tried to correct me it how I address you. Learn of your own culture and AAVE especially in the lgbt community. 

But you’ve answered more questions than I cared to ask at this point. 

Have a great day and please don’t respond to this. 

Are you serious

Ok, I have no idea why the sudden PMSing. Not doling out spells doesn’t make me “least helpful”, not everything needs magick to solve regular problems. It’s almost like asking me to craft a potion to remove a stain from your shirt and getting into a fit when I suggest “Try laundry detergent”. Everyone, yes, I’m a witch but I’m a person, too. And how was I supposed to know that he’s LGBT with zip, zero, zilch signifiers? Without any other colloquial identifiers (slang, basically), how the heck am I supposed to know? Remember, on the internet, no one knows who you are. This is why the saying “The Internet:Men are Men, Women are Men and Children are the FBI” still rotates around. This says nothing of the bunches of times the dude says “girl” in emo frenzy.

My response (because I can be a douche after putting up with this chicanery):

Sensitive, huh? And I can’t tell if you’re LGBT via just asking about inner and outer selves, brah. It ain’t a lack of knowledge when you go the Poe’s Law route by you barely us[ing] any slang and made a typo in addition. Besides, you asked a question, I gave an answer, what did you expect?

I have to learn Black slang? Dude, at least use Black slang right if you want me to understand it. It’s like asking me if I know Japanese and then getting upset I that I couldn’t tell you knew any either since you just only used the words “karaoke” and “sushi” in an all-English sentence. Why can’t I get smarter readers to write in? Certainly you guys got to have questions to ask me.

Here is the donation link

On June 18th, my mother was evicted from her home, where she had lived for nearly 20 years. She’s a special education teacher that has extensive experience in the field, especially helping inner city Baltimore students.

Through a myriad of unfortunate situations, she wound up not being able to pay rent on time and have massive fees piled on top.  Dealing with all of this, she wound up being put out. Enable to get her back into her home before the junk truck comes and clean it out, we have to raise $1010 dollars and quickly. Thank you for your help.

Happy 5th Anniversary!

Black Witch is 5 years old now. This is interesting because I’m always surprised BW could make it another year. With crappier posting times but still, huzzah.

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There’s not really much to say, but it is nifty that BW has been lasting a while. I think it’s not as streamlined as it used to be in the past but meh, even a blog can’t be static. However, I always think of improvements for the site. I have switched tablets, need to add stuff to the BW store (and need to do better upkeep of the BW store, I have been thinking of moving it off of etsy and streamlining more to be on this site. >.>)

In the coming year, I would like to get better questions for ABW. Less body-switching questions and spell requests because they are irritating. More about actual practices in metaphysics or something worthwhile. I know I’m not the only source of magick info or anything but I have got to get better questions.

Also, as a reminder, because Facebook is a digi-douche, if you are part of the Black Witch Fan Page, you can get better updates if you just select “Get Notification” on the FB fan page, this will fix it. Here is a picture for reference:

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Huzzah!

Here’s a cat picture

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For some really weird/stupid reason, people keep asking me to cast spells for them, despite the fact I don’t do pay-for-pray/paid spellcasting for other people and have made that clear a number of times. I don’t personally do it because ethics, but the same people, already showing a major lack in cognitive skills, they think my hard fast ethics will magically disappear if they say, “I’ll pay you”, because listening skills are not prominent in the intellectually redundant. I know I’m American but I lean Socialist, not Capitalist, with my opinions on money. If I say I don’t do paid spellworking, I think you should listen. Besides, paid spellwork costs somewhere around college tuition and most aren’t forking that out, I’m American enough to know that.

This goes double for love spells. Least favorite request (next to body-switching spells, which, as a result, I mercilessly mock), especially spells that try to control another person. It’s stuff like this why A) I don’t do paid spellwork B) Why I never deal with love spells, I’d rather counsel rather than help someone Evel Knievel their love life because love lives are already sticky enough without magick.

And this is where the story/example starts. A dude contacted me because they wanted their wife back. Already, this will be a doozy. At the start, I roll out the basics (click through if too small):

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Usually when people say “I need your help”, especially if they write pretty poorly, it’s usually an eventual request for me to do paid spellwork, which I don’t do. I say that all the time. Alllllllll. The. Tiiiiiiiime.

Continuing on:

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Just to be super basic, I don’t call folks. Yes, there is a Black Witch number but that’s mainly for business, not simply to talk to readers unless it’s super duper necessary, like the person is suicidal or going through a mental breakdown or something. This does not count as super duper necessary. That and I was on a phone call via Kakao to a friend in Korea. I’m not breaking that enjoyable phone call for some person who managed to probably nuke their own relationship.

For starters, the wife left this dude and took the kids with her. And as this convo goes on, I’m gonna put a little tic where this dude basically lacks all listening skills eh, you can probably count for yourself, it’s pretty obvious. And since I don’t do love spells, that means I shift into counselor mode, hence why I asked what did they argue about. The simple fact the dude quickly goes, “We were perfect but then her mom got in the way” pretty fast is definitely an issue. Yeah, there is such thing as meddlesome families but there’s more than one side to every story.

Here comes the issue: “Is there something [you] could do to help fix it so my wife will talk to me again”

I smell a spell request about to happen. And a manipulative one at that.

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As this dude tries to explain (describing endometriosis as merely “a female sickness” is already problematic and distancing, if he said it like that in front of her, that’s one reason why she’d split), it seems that the estranged spouse had a lot going on and simply wanted to cut whatever she felt was possibly adding to her stress. It’s usually never a good sign if someone tells you they fell out of love with you. That’s not something people do lightly.

And here comes the first mention where I say “I can’t do stuff that directly mess with free will” because messing with free will is bad, especially in magick. Now, everyone, why I especially don’t do it in love spells is because controlling others is abusive, regardless of how it happens. Forcing people to come back to you is never good, even if you miss them a lot. Because, if you want them back simply because you lost them and not because you figured out how you screwed up and want to make things right, then you don’t really want them back for them but for you and your bruised ego, heart and pride.

Alright, moving on:

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This dude starts to get a wee bit confusing. First time he mentioned that they weren’t spending a whole lot of time together, it sounded like the (ex)wife was making the claim. Now it seems dude is trying to back-peddle a little. That’s suspicious. And if it is the case of me simply derping out, if it is him who wants them to more time with each other, and she’s parted ways, maybe he’s starting to show an obsessive side…y’know, more than he already is.

This dude is super hardheaded, to be honest. This is a first of a buuuuuunch of times that I say “you can’t force her”. Because you can’t. If she wants to be gone, she wants to be gone, plain and simple. Yes, it hurts but life isn’t easy. And I get really confused also about how this dude somehow never knows what his soon-to-be ex is doing but somehow still knows updates about her life despite being somehow cut off from everyone who talks to her. That and how he bounced between “no one speaks to her, she’s basically alone” and “oh, they talk to her but not to me.”

Also, holmes shows a stunning lack of listening skills (which, mind you, are vital in a relationship) because despite the fact I said that I’m not doing any spellwork, he keeps asking. If you’re going to hardline like that, no wonder she left. It’s a really self-centered move to basically sidestep something someone says just because you don’t agree with what you hear. You can’t just ask the same question over and over in hopes a “no” will turn into a “yes”. It’s badgering.

And here comes the mother being somehow evil and masterminding the breakup. Somehow, I’m not buying this. Yes, meddlesome relatives are very much a thing but I don’t think that is what murdered this relationship.

Screenshot_2015-05-30-08-14-56-1Or the (ex)wife’s sister. The plot thickens!

This dude’s telling me that he never got along with her family (who she is close with so of course their opinion of him matters because she cares) and they never talked about it? That is a super dunce move because you basically have a live mine laying around buried in your relationship, quietly laying in wait. Everyone, if you have something like this TALK ABOUT IT. Because it will bubble up somehow, some way. Ignoring a problem won’t fix it. What this dude is calling “negativity” and “they just don’t like me” could very well simply be the mom and sis telling the (ex)wife that maaaaaaybe this dude ain’t so charming. I doubt they meddle in every relationship this chick has ever had because they’re from Cinderella’s step family.

Brah, what the flying fu- “She got a good man”?! Brah think he’s Will Smith or Barack Obama or something. Here’s the main difference between him and them: they still got their wives and don’t have to beg anyone to make them come back. Painting himself as the victimized, hard-working husband is super annoying because it usually never works out that way. In disintegrating relationships, it’s a two way street, usually. And, everyone, remember that the most common denominator of all your failed relationships are you. If everyone has divorced themselves from this dude and basically alienated him but not her, that’s saying something. And notice how the narrative changes from “she don’t talk to nobody/nobody talks to her” to “everyone sides with her, I get blocked out”?

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I know one other person who was in a relationship with someone who had. My guy friend was a lot more understanding than this dude. Also didn’t frame it so poorly. Plus, it sounds like the relationship was dying out for this dude.

Also…Math time!!

They’re both 28, known each other for 8 years (since they were both 20), married for 6 months and got separated for two months after that in those 8 years…

It would be rude to laugh but this is a looooooooong time to accuse a relationship going sour because of meddling. Even Othello wasn’t that long. If your relationship is crashing after a near decade, maaaaaaaaaybe it isn’t outside meddling alone because it should be strong enough to overcome that at the near ten-year point. That and both of you should have gotten used to (with air quotes) her family treating the dude like he’s Scott Pilgrim. And it should have been a point of discussion sometime within those eight years.

But wait…the kiddo is 7. This don’t sound like a “friendship” because while friends share many things, kids right after they initially meet aren’t one of them. Taking the usual 9 month pregnancy into account, it seems like they met, screwed about, wound up with a kid. Since Mississippi sucks on the whole “abortion is an ok option/god won’t hate you/here’s useful birth control methods” thing, this couple decided to wing it with this near-new stranger they just had a kid with. Stuff like this is part of why I sometimes rather counsel queer relationships because, like Dan Savage said, “gay people can’t get drunk one night and adopt.” I feel like if a kid was not involved, none of this would be happening.

This is not exactly a perfect situation. Chances are, the chick saw things were just not working out and ducked. At least she’s stable enough to get her an apartment for her and her kids while this dude is chillin with an aunt.

Since this guy is annoying, I mainly suggested bay leaves because bay leaves are good for luck and fortune. This is simply to boost his luck, not be a magic bullet that forces his (ex)wife to come back to him because, remember, I’m big on free will in relationships. Since this guy is pretty crap at following directions, thus it was a lot of “Yes, do [thing I just said]”, we’ll skip that screenshot.

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Notice that despite the fact I said that the bay leaves are just supposed to boost his luck, he still is asking time and time again if this will immediately fix his relationship. And time and time again, I keep saying, “if it is meant to be, sure” because that’s basically it. I am not going to suggest anything manipulative. Because that’s wrong. I don’t want this dude doing any magick on his wife because he doesn’t have her consent, for one. And for two, he’s not going to cast anything that actually benefits her, just him alone. Thaaaaat’s not love.

Also, here’s a protip: magick is usually subtle. What did this guy expect? That he would burn the bay leaves and immediately his (ex)wife would call him, swearing up and down that she made a mistake and will never leave him again? Naaaaaah, that ain’t how it’s going to work. I intended that. Plus, controlling will is not exactly newbie work and he’s beyond n00b. Still, it’s wrong tho.

Skipping another round of “Yes, do [thing I just said]”, let’s go to the screenshot after that.

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Here comes the dude going on the defensive about how things get bad and basically say “She needs to change, I’m fine as is”. Now, it’s not everyday people are going to be meta and objective about themselves but this is just ridiculous. If you think you’re perfectly fine and the partner needs to change, just let them go. If I have to pry a “But what will you do to help keep up the relationship should it ever come back together” answer, maaaaaybe you should just leave this person be.

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And here comes the really derpy thinking that a “good man” is basically “one that doesn’t cheat or physically abuse”. That doesn’t make you a good husband, you’re supposed to not hit or cheat on your significant other. That’s pretty basic. That doesn’t constitute “good significant other”, that’s the baseline you’re supposed to build upon, end of story.

Considering all of this, even though he likes to blame the mom a lot, I don’t think she is the main reason why she is gone. If anything, I think I’m talkin to ’em.

Skipping a few posts because it’s the same go around because, wow, this guy is hardheaded, I even suggested the dude read Dr. Nerdlove, who has written threegreat pieces, including one recently(oh wait, a newer one! That makes four!), about dead/dying relationships. Dude wouldn’t listen because there’s no “How to make someone who doesn’t love you anymore love you again” article.

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And here comes the granddaddy derp of them all: the “cuz she’s my woman” defense! Dude thinks it’s ok to control people if you’re married to them. I think he took that “love, honor and obey” part way too seriously (do people still say the last bit?). Um, no. The (ex)wife is still an individual, her own person. It doesn’t matter if she is his wife, if she wants to make her own choices, she should be able to. To be with someone who thinks otherwise, they may as well not even get married since that person clearly haven’t moved on from the “property” concept of marriage. Kind of sh*tty concept for the 1500s, really sh*tty concept when you hit the 2000s. She don’t wanna love him for anything, and definitely not for him. She proved that when she walked out the door and blocked him everywhere. And everyone is working in concert with her to make sure he doesn’t know where she is.

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As much as I would have liked to have said this convo ended here, it continued on for a way while longer. This dude needs to simply move on and have a hard think on what makes a relationship “good”. In all honesty, it sounds like an accident with a super long lasting effect. (Remember, safe and consensual sex is great!) And the fact he wanted a controlling love spell to get her back is part of why I don’t do paid spellwork and why I’m vehemently against inflicting on free will. Usually, spells like these aren’t with the estranged’s best interests in mind, it’s usually for a selfish reason. People have to decide for themselves, not have someone wrench that away from them. I’m going to take it that if she doesn’t want to talk to him after 8 years of knowing him, she probably has a very good reason.

Actually, after talking to this dude, I have a strong feeling she had a really good reason. I doubt if she could ask me anything, it would be him coming back to her. She moved on, he should, too.

Too Many Minds to Mind

It’s been a reoccurring theme for me so let me talk about my Dissociative Disorder. Might as well since it’s been ticked up more than a notch since the riots (“Baltimore Uprising”? Yeaaaaah, way to Whitewash and disrespectfully glorify what is going on, you can nearly hear Muse “Victorious” playing in the background. I guess White saviorists got tired of Ferguson and want to live out their Rage Against the Machine dreams here. In my city. Where they are not welcomed. At all. They’re riots, stop trying to romanticize the problem you helped make) because, as I have said several times in the recent past, I’m originally from the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood. So, like the vast majority of the people from Sandtown (and Baltimore), I have C-PTSD, which means “Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”. The basic difference between PTSD and C-PTSD can be best put this way: If a soldier has PTSD, the kids and people living in the invaded country has C-PTSD. The soldier eventually gets shipped back home but the kids and people left behind have to stay in the rocket-pocked area because it’s home.

Same thing for kids in the inner city, it’s a place where you can easily get PTSD/C-PTSD because of the environment alone, not even including the institutionalized barriers that keeps the people there (and not getting help). Add that and the situation turns from being like crabs in a bucket to trying not to get sucked back into a malevolent vortex. It’s nearly impossible to say someone could come from such an area and still wind up neurotypical or sane. I certainly didn’t and many don’t. And we didn’t even add the usual day-to-day circumstances of just being an individual, which can compound the ever present stresses that no one – except for the people actually from the areas – want to talk about.

My PTSD came from a lot of different things I grew up with, from really crappy people to really crappy systems and circumstances as well as people and circumstances that were very well meaning but did more harm than anything. Then you had folks and circumstances that you seriously couldn’t tell which type they were: one second they’re helping you, next, they basically made you mastermind your own demise without knowing.

Now, from that PTSD basically came a garden plot for other issues such as OCD (not fun and riddled with tv-made myths), trichotillomania (that showed up first when I was around 10), and the most destructive one, Dissociative disorder, where I’m officially considered DD-NOS.

Because I’m lazy and saw a really good picture explanation from a tumblr titled “Trauma and Dissociation”, here’s the basic overview of what I am talking about and how the Dissociative spectrum works:

wpid-https%3a%2f%2f41.media_.tumblr.com%2f147f916ecf5da5343fe84e6ffb35b051%2ftumblr_nmlk13nfa41sivm54o1_1280.jpg

If anyone is going “Wow, this sounds totally crazy. Like, psychokiller crazy,” yeaaaaah, you try dealing with really violent and unstable environments for a vast majority of your life and let’s see how you turn out. Most people get scared of Baltimore because they saw The Wire or read The Corner (which is the source material for the HBO show and was also a HBO special itself), and they’re just reading about it or watching a cable drama, not actually living there so it should be no surprise I or anyone else could wind up with such a severe disorder. Also, not everyone is an amoral, violent nutjob out to murder any and every one…that’s moreso White guys from the middle class on up. Kids in the hood at least have valid reasons for being angry, but with less high-numbered mass killing sprees. My disorder can easily turn quite vicious when triggered (hence why I tell people to not trigger me) because it turns out bottling emotions like anger and frustration and more anger in the name of social upward mobility is unhealthy – eventually it tries to becomes another person.

Also, if you learned most of your psych knowledge from tv or movies, this means you have very little knowledge on disorders in all. Going off of that one (inaccurate) episode of Empire won’t teach you anything about mental illness, just that people who have it are somehow scary and should be both actively and passively shunned, preferably into silence and out of sight. Random youtube vids and vines would show that mental illness should be made fun of for kicks and giggles because picking on mentally fractured people is funny, kind of like cracking on a dying cancer patient. Media does not try to depict mental illness in its honesty. Instead it is used to be a short cut to making a tv show or movie look more “riveting” or like there is supposed to be a stunning plot present because the show creators were lazy and good writers are expensive. There is the Korean drama “Kill Me, Heal Me” which was based around the main character having Dissociative Identity Disorder (a bit different from Dissociative Disorder, I’ll touch on that in a minute) but still, the show didn’t showcase the illness correctly, it basically tried to hit on as many mental illness tropes as it could. I watch the show with my friend, who lives in Korea, and from everything I saw, it was pretty decent tv (from a K-drama perspective) but no way would a Korean resident feel empowered to say, “Maybe I should get help” or “hey, mentally ill people aren’t wacked out freaks but actual human beings inflicted with a condition because of their experiences.” Newp. Not at all. I still suggest the K-Drama “It’s Ok, That’s Love” however because, even though it is framed around schizophrenia, they did an amazing job depicting Tourette’s and schizophrenia in very humanizing ways, which is necessary. Especially since most media doesn’t do that. Or if they do, the casting looks like it was done by a Klansman.

Alright, I said that Dissociative Disorder is different from Dissociative Identity disorder, let’s touch on that. They’re both part of the same disorder but the different points on the same spectrum. The Dissociative spectrum, basically. It starts out at Dissociative but in the middle of the spectrum is Dissociative Identity Disorder (old name is Multiple Personality Disorder) and the end of the spectrum, a very rare formation of the illness, is Dissociative Fugue, where you basically forget who you are and build a brand new life, personality and identity. The basic part of Dissociative is that it’s not Dissociative if there’s no amnesia. All Dissociative is, in all forms, is the mind trying to disconnect from the realities of the trauma(s) taking place and thus puts the memories somewhere else, which causes the amnesia and gaps in the memory beyond reasonable stretches. This isn’t forgetting where you put your keys but forgetting whole chunks of your life. Dissociative Identity is where the mind is still trying to shelter itself but still forced to engage with the situation and/or environment, it creates a new person to deal with it. So now that person has one set of memories and personality traits (someone with DID can have many personalities, someone with DID-NOS can have many different personas (non-fully formed personalities, more like masks), we’re just going with one here) and the other personality has a different set and sometimes personalities don’t know about each other. Dissociative Fugue is basically the mind going “I’m just going to restart fresh” and do exactly that. The person will have no memory of the life they previously lived, they’ll possibly have a different name, they may even relocate to a different state or country, have a different personality, everything. Also, because DID is so “popular” in the public consciousness, many people will assume that DID is the end all and be all of the whole spectrum instead of simply being a notch, not the measure, of a bigger spectrum. So if someone says they have Dissociative, don’t call it DID. It’s like calling clinical depression “manic depression” simply because they share a word.

If this all seems really confusing, think of the mind like a desktop computer. On a normal computer, there’s only one account because it belongs to one person. But in the case of Dissociative, memory files, including vital ones, tend to get moved to distant and rarely used folders without the user knowing. And the user may never know what is missing until they need to pull up one of those files but keep getting 404 Errors and “File Not Found”. For Dissociative Identity Disorder, imagine the computer now having various user accounts. Now the computer will look different, have a different layout, so on and so forth based on user but it is still the same computer. Each user has fairly immediate access to their files and their files only and won’t see the files from other users, as if the computer is just for them. Now, it’s not that those files on the other accounts disappeared, they’re still there, but you have to dig deeper into the system tree to find them. Everyone still pulls their information from the same hard drive, it’s just all compartmentalized for personalized use. Sometimes different users know about each other, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes files cross, sometimes they don’t. For Dissociative Fugue, it’s like the computer going through a reformat, a hard restart, without knowing unless someone uses a data retrieving program on the harddrive to see what was originally on it before it got cleared.

Here is a video also about someone talking about Dissociative (actually, Disssociative Amnesia, to be exact), notice how the woman affected in the video responds to a memory about a traumatic incident in her life.

This is basically what happens to me. Memories locked away by Disassociation are usually not recalled, that’s the amnesia part at work. With therapy, the elderly woman could rediscover her memories but it’s not going to be easy because they were buried away for a reason. If it was DID, she would have another personality that would be able to remember the incident perfectly. Notice that she does not. It’s just plain Dissociative disorder, the bottom part of the spectrum.

Now I’m considered DD-NOS, as you read above in the picture, this means that I’m considered “Not Otherwise Specified”. It basically boils down to “I’m between place points on the spectrum.” I do more than simply forget/block out bad memories, I nearly become someone different while really disassociating so I’m not merely tagged “Dissociative”. The persona is not a full-fledged personality, complete with practically an identity of its own, so I’m not considered DID. I’m too close to the “DID” label for my comfort but I’m still not DID. Instead I’m just a potentially prime candidate to go DID if my disorder is consistently disturbed and I’m still in a volatile environment. This is why I stress to people that I don’t like being triggered, that I usually go out my way to reduce chances of triggers, go to a therapist, etc etc.

A mini, crappily made guide to best illustrate what I’m saying:

2015-05-13 17.59.59Yeap.

Since there are folks who are probably going, “Then this means that we don’t have to listen to you because since you’re mental, thus a terrible source of information about Paganism and metaphysics.” Nah, wrong. I learned metaphysics despite having PTSD and all the disorders that it basically brewed. I’m still sensible enough to explain and understand complex philosophical theories. It’s not like my PTSD rendered me unable to read and think. When not triggered, I’m pretty regular. As I explained in a past piece “My Peanut Allergy”, my disorders don’t start raising havoc if nothing pokes at them. However, I’ve been hyper-focusing on my disorders so I can get better faster instead of just saying, “‘Eh, I’ll worry about it later” since I’ve basically been saying that for nearly 10 years. Procrastinating on your health for a decade is never a good idea, let’s be frank. It just gets in the way of everything else and gets worse, not better. Not being fully invested in metaphysics, energy manipulation and psionics does suck but I gotta focus on getting better, which is remarkably difficult since the United States is still crappy when it comes to healthcare and affordability of said healthcare. Last I checked, America came 34th in Healthcare but no.1 in how expensive it is. And that’s with the major focus being on physical healthcare. Mental healthcare is worse, that’s certain.

Ah, wellz.

ABW: Tech Problems!

Tech problems! This time, the computer decided to act odd and I had to use my bevvy of programs to eradicate the problem.

Basically, I was spending the past few days looking like this:

Whyyyyyyy? How did this happen?

Whyyyyyyy? How did this happen?

That basically means no ABW this month because I have to put all my brainpower in making sure my computer doesn’t go kaput. It won’t, it just wants to for some mysterious reason.

Instead, here is this cute French cat video! “Le Tableau” (For non-Francophones: There are hardcoded English subtitles)

Alright, everyone. Sorry for the quiet, there’s been a lot going on such as new tablet, playing Yandere Simulator and other stuff. That and in porting data from old tablet to new tablet, the data got corrupted so that means this post is a remake. Either way, it’s a good thing I shot video.

Earlier in April, I had learned about Sabbat Box  and contacted them about a review, here it is now!

After answering pretty basic questions about what materials I would prefer more, what symbols I lean to more, things of that nature, I got automatic emails of when my materials would be shipped out. I really liked how timely the emails are so you don’t forget anything. Also, you’re given tracking so you can watch your package get shipped and prepare for its arrival. I missed delivery so I was off a few days but after a couple days, I got an email from Sabbat Box asking if I ever got the box. It was picked up so everything was fine. I did an unboxing vid but then that derped because I’m not good with video, ha! But I did another one right after (well irritated, because I just did all that work beforehand). This video is open via Google Docs and via BW FB Fan page (I don’t really like youtube and didn’t feel like fighting with WordPress about video hosting.)  Wait, wait. I think I can go with Vimeo. Yeaaaaah, let’s do that.

The products are really nice, I still use the incense and the candle is long gone, it really lasts a while! The holder is really nice…especially since it turns out I left my old one in storage a while back. I still haven’t used the oil for anything, but it does smell wonderful still. The tea is still very much in use, it’s nice to have when having something really sweet because it is a bitter taste and green tea is meant to be had with sweet things. However, I did research since the name of the tea brand is Blackthorn Hoodoo Blends. While the tea is nice, I really would rather a Black owned business if I’m going continue buying something that has “hoodoo” in the name since it is originally an Afro-Caribbean tradition and already there’s such limited representation as it stands.

The book is pretty nice, but it sadly can’t keep my attention. It’s not that the book sucks but I’m well past beginner stage, it’s like getting an alphabet book when I already am reading Tales of the Genji. I think I’ll give it away to a friend or something.

As for the Sabbat Box prices, they’re a bit steep but definitely worth it. The smallest plan is Sabbat to Sabbat at $39.95, which includes the $7.95 shipping. The price may look alarming for those on a budget but for what you get, it seems decent. However, while the pricing should be in the 30s, it would possibly be nicer if it were around $28-32/box. Pagan products have a tendency of being pricey so it would be nice if they could pull the price down just a bit.

All in all, I really think that this Sabbat Box is really nice. It isn’t for everyone but that is ok. It’s better for those who are at least intermediate (remember, this isn’t a spell-in-a-box) and have some extra scratch to put a new mix into their practice and find something new. Plus the customer service is really, really good! Very professional.

Next week is Ask Black Witch. Send in your questions! Remember, good questions are appreciated, bad questions are eviscerated, send them in!

Over-Exposed

I have basically spent this whole past week just forever in my feelings. Nothing but irritated and pissed. It’s one thing to have you city make national news, it’s definitely different when the neighborhood you were brought up in is the reason the city is basically on lockdown. And why morons would stop talking like they know how it is in Sandtown when they’re going off info they learned from HBO and reports written by people who are also not from Baltimore. Yes, reading relatively objective reports about the plight here is nice but your 20 minute read is not going to trump my personal experience, no matter how much you want it to. I was born and raised there. You could got to an Ivy, take a bunch of classes, get a degree and you’ll still have no idea compared to my actual, lived experience. That is just how it is. Baltimore is a whole lot more than Old Bay and Hon bullsh*t. That’s not even really Baltimore, that’s a White-washed, gentrified view of Baltimore because they don’t like that Baltimore is 64% Black and only 12% White. With effort from the Mayor(s, plural because Dixon was bad, O’Malley was awful, we haven’t had many good Mayors that actually care about Baltimoreans more than yuppie outsiders), there has been a healthy move to Whiten up Baltimore as much as possible.

I think the only White person that has been interacting with Baltimore and actually was not a douche about all that has been happening is the Manager for the O’s and why he closed the game to the public:

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He gets it. He wasn’t being a douche, he was comfortably understanding by saying that this is beyond baseball and that he’s not going to say more than that because he has no way to relate to the experience of the people rioting and protesting. See? He made a comment that wasn’t disrespectful, agitating, exploiting, or White-Saviorist. It is ok to say, “Look, I’ve no bones in the game, all I know is that this is a big problem and that’s for sure. Baseball is just a game, this is a burst of a bunch of problems.”

Basically, this Baltimore club song is basically how I’ve been feeling all this week

This is more accurate to Baltimorean culture. We’re not really into outsiders telling our tales and speaking for us. At all. We don’t like exploiters, people who don’t genuinely care and just are talking about Baltimore because they’re tired of talking about Ferguson or to look like they’re up on current events. Everyone who is not from Baltimore wants to do a think piece about Baltimore, a city they have zip idea about. If all you knew about Baltimore was basically stuff that starred White people (or, if it was negative, Black people) such as The Wire, Hairspray and Old Bay, then maaaaaaaaybe you should just go back to watching Game of Thrones or something.

Everyone has been getting on my nerves, especially non-local media. I haven’t bothered to look at CNN, FOX News (how did you manage to come to Sandtown and not get your media truck firebombed? Not even catch a rock to the temple. Or a cracked camera?), even Wild Hunt – who asked me for my take – I’ll touch on that in a minute – tried to get in on the calamity as if they’re New York Times or they actually care. Even us Baltimoreans know we’re just activist groups heat of the week, flavor of the day. I haven’t even looked at The Root, which is a Black publication that usually is pretty on the level about things but again, I’m sensitive because as I said before, I’m from that neighborhood so I take it very straight to heart. Like, Mondawmin Mall? I grew up near that mall, my paternal grandfather’s house would have only been maybe 5 or 6 doors away from where the rioters started to break apart and scatter. That mall also started to gentrify a little, which served in part to getting its windows dropped. Remember, we don’t like exploiters. I’m pretty sure they’re clear with that now and if not, Baltimoreans are very good at strong reminders.

The only media people that contacted me was just Wild Hunt. Merely because I am in Baltimore, I’m close enough to the destruction. The person contacting didn’t even know (how, I don’t know because I made it very clear that I am more than just a Baltimorean but also from that neighborhood in the last post), that I am a native Baltimore and from the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood and gave me among the smaller snippets whereas some random person in bum-f*ck Maryland gets a whole paragraph cited and another person in New Jersey. I am probably the only Black person (aside from a quip from Ray Lewis) that was even mentioned in the article. Dude, the writer even wanted to include my MLK quote with snarky part to White liberals, the only reason why I’d post the quote interestingly edited out (I wonder why…oh wait, MLK quotes attract White folks like metal to magnets!) and I had to get a bit snippy to get it out. I told her to mention that I wrote about Whitewashing and gentrification. That didn’t make it to the final cut. It was just labeled “impassionate” (nice word/code for “angry”). I’m actually from here but I get among the least mention. And Wild Hunt doesn’t really try to be that “Oh, here are non-Pagan current events”. Maybe they should try to stick with more Pagan life stuff. The only reason why I agreed was because it isn’t like the writer was going to try hard to find someone else who was Black and from Baltimore…or from Baltimore…or possibly even Black. Now, it isn’t that any Black person can automatically talk about what happened in Baltimore (I mean, Don Lemon should have proved that), but at least there would be a higher likelihood of the person saying “Institutionalize racism” in opposed to saying the super soft “Ohhhh, those pooooooor Black people being murdered. Gives me a sad”.

And speaking of media inaccurately depicting Baltimore, how about that low key Whitewashing between “peaceful protester” and “rioter”. This is what the City Paper posted:

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This is one of many, maaaaaaaaaany times where when you would see people talk about “peaceful protesters” they usually would pan to crowds mixed with White folks…or just pan to the White person in the crowd just standing there amongst the Black folks. But if they’re trashing cop cars and wrecking stuff, it’s All Black Everything. Quick tip: Stop centering White people to make any movement “relevant” or worth caring about. Minorities get edged out of their own movements all the time, it really isn’t fair. This movement isn’t about them. At all. If you have to see a White person somewhere in there to justify a movement, then that’s pretty bigoted. They’re not affected at all by racially charged murders. It’s nice they care but no one needs to put them at the forefront to validate a movement and to depict a “peaceful protester”, that is certain. That is sneakily dehumanizing the Black protesters as barbaric unless there is a White person to symbolize order when really there were definitely White looters. They can be just as bad if not worse because they’re not acting out from being oppressed for decades, just taking an opportunity because they figured even if they hit a ton of stores, media will just show a news reel of a Black folks doing it instead.

This article in the City Paper, which is a surprise for me because CP doesn’t tend to reflect the city it represent but even a broken clock is right twice a day, written by Helena Hicks, titled “Helena Hicks Talks about Institutional Neglect in Freddie’s Gray Neighborhood” accurately depicts the problems in Sandtown-Winchester. I strongly agree with this elder, who also participated in the 1955 sit-in at Read’s drug store in Baltimore as a college student, I recommend reading because as I have said this whole time, to best understand how things are, ask someone who actually is from the area. And the most striking part is that, despite Hicks and I come from two different generations, we have many of the same complaints.

“Sandtown-Winchester has just been left to its own devices all these years, and the devices unfortunately have been destructive ones.”

Anyone from there would tell you this. It’s nicknamed “Crazytown” for a reason. It practically the wild west there. A prison without bars, a concentration camp without electric fences.

“[Since the 40s] You had the gangs starting, you had the murders, you had a drug cartel. There’s never been any justice for people who have committed murders there. As for the Western District police station, it was well known you buy those cops off for $5. It’s had a history of violence, and violence over drugs, since the 1940s.”

Heeeeey, didn’t I say in my last piece I remember drugs being sold on the steps of the Western District police station? Thought I was exaggerating, huh? This, everyone, is the reason why I absolutely abhor the drug trade in all forms, all who participate in it and why I have a therapist. And PTSD. And why the current drug laws gives me the shakes, they’re growing so soft. It was pretty bad there. Still is. What everyone saw on Monday is only an iota of what I saw growing up.

“In the years since, virtually no resources have ever been put into the neighborhood, and it became a drug neighborhood. My sister, Lillian Jones, fought to have something different for the kids in those projects, and the Lillian S. Jones Recreation Center there is named for her. But she died, and the center just fell apart.”

I wasn’t raised in the projects, but I was raised across the street from them on the 1500 block of N. Mount St. I can attest to how bad it got. It was swarmed in drugs and, in turn, cyclical problems such as violence. And anything that has any strain of good in it doesn’t last long. Ever. I remember when the rec. centers got closed. I remember Central Rosemont, which got replaced by PAL, a recreation program that the police thought up (and failed), and then got shut down completely. My mom helped create the protests against City Hall about the shutting down of rec centers, which helped extended the life for a while until the City just stopped caring and did what it wanted.

“The city has consistently done nothing to help this area.”

Didn’t I just say that?

“There is no active drug rehabilitation program. You have nothing in terms of education, nothing to build self pride or desire to rise above the situation there.”

My mom did the smart thing and moved my sister and I out there when we were in our pre-teen. For me, I have a burning hatred of the people who made Sandtown such a terrible place with the strength of a million suns, so that has convinced me to never put myself back there. I just didn’t (and still don’t) want to go back there. I built self-pride in how smart I am, and that was tough in and of itself. That’s why I’m so cocky about my intelligence. And with a very, very, very obscenely low bullsh*t threshhold, as my steady readers have probably noticed. Especially from people who were raised from a higher social station than I was.

“You don’t have any job training programs. People don’t finish school, they don’t make any money, they have nothing to do with their time. Torn-down houses. No food stores. Vacant houses. Open drug markets. 24 hours a day.”

Even the old Stop, Shop, and Save that I grew up with, the only actual market in the area, just closed recently, if Google Maps showed me correctly. Actually, Google Maps has not even been behind my house on the teeny street since 2008. Lolz. Even Google doesn’t want to know.

“We set up child day care in Sandtown. It ran well for a while, and then we lost funding and got kicked out. Nothing has worked because the city won’t invest permanently in that neighborhood. It once had responsible citizens, and it still does, but you don’t have enough of them and they have no direction and no City Hall support.”

Yeap, that sounds about right. If it’s a good thing for Sandtown, the plug will get pulled on it faster than fast.

“There was the Empowerment Zone in the 1990s, and then it dissipated. The developers got a hold of that. It was all about how they could use the neighborhood and the money that was coming in on federal grants to supposedly help that area. The federal grant money dried up; it never did a whole lot of good anyway.”

I was raised in the 90s. Basically, people got greedy. Tried to gentrify Sandtown a little (basically go, “Let’s move in White people, that’s the only way we think a neighborhood is worth saving!”), and something on the calculator must have said, “You’re going to have a lot of dead White people, just leave it alone.” That and greedy people are greedy. The money was seen to help the area but the people in charge most likely saw the money as a free payday.

“The police have been a part of the problem and not the solution in that area since I was a child. Former Mayor Martin O’Malley didn’t help. He started the ‘zero tolerance’ policy, so half of the people who were hanging around got locked up….Plus, they put the bottom of the barrel down [in Sandtown]. Not good teachers, not good police – and if they get anybody good down there, they don’t last.

Bolding is mine. I have been telling people this time and time again: There’s no room for good guys down there. The reason why the cops are so ruthless down there is because the people they have to get are more ruthless than them. Even though in the different neighborhood, Oliver, the police didn’t murder the Dawson family. Here in Sandtown, things are downright atrocious, there’s no room to play by the rules. Absolutely none. If there were, they would quickly be called “loopholes”. It’s not fair to the people caught in between but that’s simply just how it is. And how it will be, none of this media circus will affect a thing, sadly. Trust me on that. It’s just a heinous cat and mouse game.

“It’s possibly to do something constructive in Sandtown-Winchester, but you’ve got to get City Hall to understand the mess they’ve made, take responsibility for it, and start planning to go in another direction….Nobody is looking at how we got here and what do we need to do to turn it in a different direction. They just concentrate knee-jerk reactions to whatever’s happening in the present.”

Like a riot. A loud one at that. Classic move of City Hall. Media is already giving them a heaping of help by milking this “Black Lives Matter” stuff in hopes for a Pulitzer or to look progressive. Just focus on the now, not the future and definitely not the past.

“Marches won’t do it.”

Are you me? Ye gods, it sounds like something I would say.

“I don’t have any faith in these ministers leading things. They’ve been there all this time and haven’t done anything. They just want a platform. You need to understand the history.”

Sounds nearly like me.

“There are people who know what’s going on and could be asked for help. But City Hall is not going to ask for that. [Mayor] Stephanie Rawlings-Blake doesn’t think anybody over 50 knows anything that she can use.”

The mayor also has a tendency to think the same of folks who can’t pass a paper bag test. A White person tell her that she’s on fire, she’d run for the fire extinguisher. A Black person tell her she’s on fire, she’d just remark, “The weatherman said we’d have summer temperatures today. You just are confused.”

“They think nobody knows anything but them, and they have the answers and they’re going to resolve it.”

Their solution: A neighborhood is only worth saving if there are White people living in it. Time to gentrify! Then we’ll pump in much and desperately needed resources.

“And they’re not. It’s just going to get worse and worse.”

Basically what I’ve been saying.

“History repeats itself, and we’re about to repeat something very bad if we don’t get in there and do something fast.”

Yes, it can get worse than this. Way worse.

“I’ve tried to pass the baton, but many young people don’t see any future. And I understand why they don’t see it: They don’t get many examples of good things that are happening, so they don’t believe that it’s possible….I think there is some hope. But it’s getting harder and harder to find people who believe that and it’s been harder and harder to point out where there is some reason to hope.”

Sounds about right. The future of Sandtown is pretty bleak. And I’ve seen little to convince me that it will get better for the residents of Sandtown ever. That’s the super sad part. It would only be possible if people actually cared and tried to break the cyclical damage and hurt there. Buuuuuut that’s not happening for a while. Once the cameras are off of Penn-North, and the rest of Sandtown, it’s back to business as usual.

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